Classic Pumpkin Scones

I always feel a jolt of excitement when I crack open that first can of pumpkin in the fall, don’t you? If you’re a pumpkin lover, then don’t go another minute without these flaky pumpkin scones topped with a decadent maple glaze. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee on a crisp Fall morning.

pumpkin scones with maple icing

I’ve already made pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin cheesecake muffins, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, skinny pumpkin frappuccinos….even pumpkin coffee creamer. To be honest though, I was a little nervous to develop a recipe for classic pumpkin scones because the ones at the bakery are just so delicious. After a few tries though, I created a buttery scone recipe that is perfectly spiced without being overly sweet. And did I mention maple icing?


Tell me About These Pumpkin Scones

  • Texture: heavy cream helps produce a freshly-baked scone that is both soft and flaky in the center, crisp on top, and crumbly at the corners.
  • Flavor: these buttery scones are the perfect blend of sweet and spice for the pumpkin obsessed. With every bite, you’ll get a delicious shot of pumpkin spice cut with sweet maple frosting.
  • Ease: if you follow the recipe closely, including my success tips below, this pumpkin recipe is quick and easy to make for breakfast, brunch, or anytime. 
  • Time: the scone dough comes together quickly in about 20 minutes and then just 25 minutes more in the oven to pumpkin perfection. Serve these scones warm right away for the best taste. 

These classic pumpkin scones are inspired by my perfect, no-fail master scone recipe. Use it to build a scone with your own favorite add-ins like lemon blueberry sconesbanana nut scones, and more! Here are all of my scone recipes

plate of pumpkin scones

Recipe Testing Pumpkin Scones: What Works & What Doesn’t

  1. Frozen butter = success. As your scone bakes, frozen butter will melt and release steam, creating tender flaky pockets in the middle with crisp and crumbly edges. Butter that hasn’t been frozen could melt before it makes it to the oven, and you’ll lose all that tender, flaky goodness.
  2. Grate the butter. Weird, right? Fine shreds of cold butter make for an even mix into the dry ingredients. If you don’t own a grater, you can also use a sharp knife to cut the butter into small chunks, but I prefer the teeny shreds. 
  3. Blot the pumpkin. Trust me on this. Pumpkin puree is extremely wet and can cause spreading in your mixture. Blot the pumpkin for 15 seconds with a paper towel before you use it. For more details on blotting pumpkin, see my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
  4. Don’t over-mix the dough. After you add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix with ease until combined. Just like pie crust, over-mixing the scone dough will result in a tough texture.

Choosing the Right Ingredients: Heavy Cream for the Win

There are some recipes where substituting similar ingredients is okay, but this isn’t one of them. Rich heavy cream or buttermilk is the secret to these delicious scones. 

  • Heavy cream or buttermilk is a must. Texture is crucial for the perfect scone, so don’t substitute milk or nondairy milk in this recipe. You’ll lose both the texture and flavor that make these scones irresistible. 
  • I swear by this trick. Brush the scones with the remaining heavy cream or buttermilk right before baking and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar if you have any. It will help ensure that sweet, crisp exterior. 

Overview: How to Make Classic Pumpkin Scones

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before you get started. 

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Add frozen butter to the flour mixture. Grate your butter and add to the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Remember, you don’t want the butter to melt before you bake. 
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together. After they are combined, drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until moistened throughout. 
  4. Flour up. Coat your hands in flour and work the mixture into a ball of dough. The dough should be thoroughly combined, but don’t overwork it which could result in a tough texture.
  5. Flatten dough ball into an 8-inch disc. Use a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 equal wedges.
  6. Don’t forget the heavy cream wash. Brush the remaining heavy cream (or buttermilk) onto your scones using a pastry brush right before baking. Sprinkle with coarse sugar for a sweet textured crunch.
  7. Make the glaze. While the scones are baking, make the maple glaze over low heat by combining the butter and maple syrup until the mixture is completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and a dash of salt to achieve the perfect glaze consistency.
  8. Drizzle over the scones. Add the maple icing while the scones are still warm so it melts into every flake, crack, and crevice. You’ll taste melty maple goodness with every bite. 

2 images of pumpkin scone dough in glass bowls

2 images of pumpkin scone dough shaped into a circle and cut into trianges

pumpkin scones with maple icing

More Fall Recipes

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plate of pumpkin scones

Classic Pumpkin Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Deliciously spiced classic pumpkin scones are flaky and soft with perfectly crumbly edges. Top with coarse sugar for extra crunch and maple icing for extra decadence!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (105ml) heavy cream, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (115g) canned pumpkin puree, blotted*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Maple Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini scones, I use 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Make the scones: Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater). Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/3 cup (75ml) heavy cream, the egg, blotted pumpkin (see note), brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then mix it all together until everything appears moistened.
  4. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer onto a floured work surface. Press into a neat 8-inch disc and, with a very sharp knife, cut into 8 equal wedges. To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. (Larger scones are pictured in this blog post.)
  5. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Using a pastry brush, brush scones with remaining heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. (Gives a nice crunch!)
  6. Bake the larger scones for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. If you made 16 smaller scones, bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
  7. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. Drizzle over warm scones.
  8. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 extra days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Plain baked scones freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat up to your liking before icing and enjoying.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
  3. Blotting Pumpkin: Using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, lightly blot the pumpkin puree to remove some of the moisture before using in the recipe. The more moisture removed, the less moist and muffin-like the scones will taste. We want the scones to be flaky and crumbly, not super moist or muffin-like. I prefer to squeeze lots of moisture out so the scones taste textured and delicious. Do what you prefer!

275 Comments

  1. These were delicious. I didn’t have heavy cream so used buttermilk. One question on the glaze, did you mean 1 cup of conf sugar, sifted or 1 cup sifted conf sugar? The one cup already sifted didn’t seem like enough, the glaze was way too thin.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We are so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Kristen! We did sift before measuring but you can certainly add more confectioners sugar for a thicker glaze if you wish.

  2. Sally, I don’t know you but you sure know scones! These are beautiful! Thank you 🙂

    1. Do you happen to have any nutritional information on this recipe? How many calories, fat and sugar are in a scone? Thanks.

  3. Delicious!! Turned out perfect! I sprinkled pumpkin spice on top of glaze! Will definitely be making again:)

  4. Robin Dextradeur says:

    Hi Sally
    I’m a big fan of your scones and many of them are put in fridge prior to baking, was planning to make these at night and bake in the morning, is the pumpkin too watery for the usual method to work? Thanks so much, if have already answered this, such a long list of comments, I apologize.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robin, You can shape this scone dough into wedges and refrigerate overnight before baking. Enjoy!

      1. Love the recipe. Can I use a 2 1/4″ round biscuit cutter and serve as a biscuit and sub pumpkin with sweet potato?
        TY

  5. Yum! The flavor and texture of these scones are amazing. I couldn’t resist making them again 10 days later. I added cinnamon chips to one batch and they were great. The maple icing is so good I could just eat the whole pan with a spoon. I’m excited to make your maple brown sugar cookies with the same icing soon and I might even drizzle some over the apple crumble pie for Thanksgiving.
    Thank you for yet another fantastic recipe!

  6. I’ve made these a couple times and they’re my favorite scone recipe yet. Just put in a batch for thanksgiving morning

  7. Hi was wondering if I could use canned organic pumpkin for this recipe

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, definitely!

  8. I messed these up and they are still excellent! My oven went a little hot and burned the bottoms when I checked at 20 minutes (large scones). Able to salvage the scone tops and glazed them. Still delicious. Will have to check ~15-18 for my oven.

    I used fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned.

    Also plan to half the glaze recipe next time, and half the sugar in it. Its gorgeous but makes a lot of glaze, and the flavor of the scone is so good I don’t want to hide that.

  9. I just adore your site! I ran out of maple syrup so tried molasses instead and a bit of ginger for the glaze! Turned out great, not as sweet which I like better.

  10. These scones were delicious the glaze was perfect thank you for posting. Will be making these again

  11. how would plumped golden raisins with cinnamon chips be as add ins?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lee, You can add a total of 1 cup of add ins (for example, half cup raisins and half cup cinnamon chips). Fold them into the dough after you add the wet ingredients. Enjoy!

  12. Thank you for the quick response. I’m thinking some cinnamon chips or diced candied ginger and some golden raisins plumped in bourbon

  13. Christine J Walsh says:

    Excellent recipe and excellent tips. Have never grated my frozen butter before, and just want to say that is a game changer! Thank you!

  14. I made this with gluten free flour as an experiment (and a bit of a pantry cleanout), and albeit a slightly denser texture, still damn tasty! Can’t wait to make them again with regular flour, that maple glaze is crack. Could I add nuts to the batter or would they sink?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Abby, so happy you loved these scones. Yes, you can add nuts, around a cup should be perfect!

  15. Michele L. Lewis says:

    ABSOLUTELY, FABULOUSLY DELICIOUS! I’m blaming you Miss Sally for all my weight gain! Lol To my fellow bakers, I would definitely make two, if you’re having company. If not, say you’re only baking this for one or two, then I say good for it! It’s huge! Yet, it holds together beautifully and is perfectly moist (even my sneaky slice right out of the oven). This is the most delicious scone I have ever made! Of course, I love pumpkin so that helps. I thought I came up with the idea to grate my butter! I do it for my (your) pie crust also. I’ve been making your pumpkin and pecan pies for 2 years now and everyone loves them! I just whipped up a pecan pie for my daughter’s friend to take home, while she was visiting, because she loves it so much! Thank you so much! I have many recipes yet to try.

  16. Wow! This was my first time making scones and they came out perfect! So good! The maple glaze was delicious too. The recipe makes about twice too much, but I’ll find a way to use the leftover glaze even though it hardened up (I’m Canadian, after all!)

    I used some homemade pumpkin purée that had been sitting in my freezer since October. I made sure to squeeze the liquid out as much as possible using cheesecloth, until the consistency was thick, like canned purée.

    I only made one adjustment – I forgot to buy allspice, so I used about 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom instead. I love cardamom and pumpkin together, but not too much of it because it can overwhelm the other flavours.

    I’m addicted to your recipes. I’ve tried about a dozen and they never fail! Thank you Sally!

  17. I have made these scones several times and they are delicious!! A family favorite! Thank you!!

  18. Made these with gluten free flour, and fresh pumpkin, with no glaze just the brushed heavy cream and fructose, and they are AMAZINGLY GOOD. too good to believe! Not too sweet, which is a usual issue for us. Didn’t have to halve the sugar for once.

  19. Mary Manning Grass says:

    Excellent recipe !!
    Thank You!! Mary

  20. Unbelievable, so delicious! The first time I made these I goofed and forgot to add the sugar, and you know what .. they were still good, just savory. I ate them with some butter spread on them, even my toddler liked them that way, so not a loss :). But I definitely had to do a redo the correct way, and they are 10x better with the sugar and the maple glaze, the outside has a slight crunch and the inside is firmer than a muffin, but still soft and moist. Since the pandemic started I have been working my way through all your muffin recipes, seems I’ll be on a scone kick next! Also, I’m a completely amateur baker, so I really appreciate how you take the time to add in all of the tips and tricks so that even beginners can get it right.

  21. I’m going to try making scones first time. Pumpkin loaf is delicious so thought I’d try these. Can’t wait

  22. First time for making scones. Delicious and easy peasy. Thanks Sally. Will be trying lots of other recipes. They really don’t need the maple glaze … but it just takes them over the top. Yummy!!

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